These Buttermilk Biscuits are soft, flaky, layers of the most fluffy delicious biscuits ever! Loved for generations, this heirloom southern biscuit recipe only takes three ingredients is simple to make!

Golden Buttermilk Biscuit with soft layers sitting on stone board //

Hot, fluffy big buttermilk biscuits fresh from the oven. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing better! And believe it or not, these could not be any easier to make. Three ingredients, my time-tested biscuit making tips and a little tender loving care…that’s really all it takes to make these iconic southern favorite biscuits. I think it is one of those essential biscuit recipes that most cooks will enjoy having in their recipe collection. And people won’t believe you at first when you to tell them how easy they are to make.

Buttermilk Biscuits

These are the biscuits that I watched my Mama and Grandmother make thousands of times growing up and have made hundreds more times myself. Making these are second nature to me after making them for so many years and the process is super simple, and honestly very relaxing. So I hope some of my tips can help you in your own biscuit-making journey!

Now, while I’m going on and on about how easy they are to make, the ingredients are what really make the magic happen. You will not get the same results if you change the ingredients, in my opinion. So, let’s talk about these simple, yet magical ingredients for just a sec.

The Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit:

  1. Flour (Self-Rising)
  2. Shortening
  3. Buttermilk

1.The Flour I Use for My Buttermilk Biscuits

For my biscuits, I prefer to use White Lily® flour. Made of soft winter wheat, this flour is a fine, silky flour that yields a very soft and tender biscuit. I also like it for my homemade pie crust and other baked goods. My grandmother swore by this brand of flour for her baking. I’ll admit I’ve tried other brands for my biscuits and baking. I always get best results with this one. You can use any favorite self-rising flour (or make your own self rising flour). This is just my opinion from baking hundreds, if not thousands of baked goods.

Large ceramic bowl of flour with shortening and pastry cutter 
 - ©

2. Use Shortening

The second ingredient for this magical three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is shortening. Vegetable shortening to be specific.

Shortening lends moisture and flakiness to these buttermilk biscuits that other ingredients just doesn’t provide. While I love butter as much as the next girl, you just won’t get the same results in these biscuits by replacing the shortening with butter.

You’ll cut your shortening into your flour using a pastry blender, two forks or even two knives until the flour and shortening mixture looks like it is coarse meal.

Closeup of flour that has had the shortening cut into the mixture for Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits with buttermilk being slowly added - ©

3. Buttermilk

This is the reason these biscuits have the name they do, after all. My Grandmother always taught me to take special care to stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture very gently when making biscuits. Otherwise, if you over-mix your biscuit dough, the result will be tough, dry biscuits and not fluffy, light, and delicious biscuits that we all love.

Golden Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits - ©

I then pop my biscuits into a super hot oven, which allows them to quickly rise and turn a beautiful golden brown in just a few minutes.

Tips for How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • First, don’t over-mix. I know I said that earlier, but this it deserves mentioning again. Mixing too much can make the biscuit dough tough and and not rise to those beautiful, light biscuits we all love!
  • Roll out the dough and fold into layers. Gently mold the edges and slightly flatten into a rectangle.
  • Use a sharp-edge biscuit cutter and cut straight down. Don’t twist. Avoid using a cutter with a rounded edge like a glass – it can crimp the dough closed and prevent a good rise.
  • If biscuits touch, they rise a bit higher.
  • If biscuits are spaced a bit apart – they show defined, visible layers.

My best advice, is just get in there and make them! They are so easy to make and are going to be delicious if you follow these simple tips and the recipe. But a little practice will result in getting biscuits with all those beautiful layers. Regardless, these are some of the most delicious biscuits you’ve ever tasted!

Just take a look at all these flaky, golden layers!

Closeup of biscuits on a grey stone board - ©

Here’s the Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit recipe that is definitely one of those essential recipes I turn to time and again.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Buttermilk Biscuits are an heirloom recipe and this three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is a must-have recipe for any cook.
4.8 from 25 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 6
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 cups self-rising flour + more for flouring board and cutter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening + more for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cup buttermik


  • Preheat oven to 475º F. Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet or cast iron skillet with vegetable shortening. Set aside.
  • Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, two forks, or knives until well-combined. Slowly pour in buttermilk and stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour biscuit dough onto a floured pastry cloth, paper towels, or dough board. Gently pat or roll to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits using about a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits into skillet or on baking sheet pan, leaving about an inch between biscuits to allow them to rise and cook fully. Place in preheated oven and bake about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch
Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible. //

Join today for free and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

More about me

140 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Made them tonight fir the second time. First time they rose beautifully, this time they were a little flat. I think I over- handled the dough. Practice makes perfect!

  2. I watched my grandmother make these for years. There were many times we didn’t have money for milk or buttermilk, shortening either. She made them with water and lard and sometimes powdered milk. You could tell the difference, but you cant get blood from a turnip, right? I have never seen her add eggs, yeast, or sugar…not even when she could have afforded the extra ingredients. That sounds more like a cake or muffin dough, but I will try it sometime soon.

    1. Simple food made with love is so good, isn’t it Cindy. I always loved watching my grandmother make these simple, delicious biscuits and enjoy making them for my family too. Thanks so much!

  3. I just tried making these with White Lily flour, and the batter was incredibly wet. Impossible to knead. I know I measured everything correctly but I don’t know what I did wrong???

    1. Hi Den,
      I am not sure why the dough was so wet…It sounds as if either the dry or wet measurements were a bit off. Have made these for years and they turn out great. Thanks!

  4. I just found this recipe today and want to make it tonight to go with dinner. I do not have buttermilk on hand. Is there a substitute for the buttermilk? Can I just use the milk/vinegar substitute I see online? Thank you for your help with this!

  5. I can never figure out how thin/thick to roll out dough for biscuits. I just end up frustrated and go with drop biscuits. Can you tell me a foolproof way to roll them out?  Thanks!

    1. Kat,
      You might want to look at the photos and description of how I make my Southern Buttermilk Biscuits. Rolling out and cutting the dough is the same as for my Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit. As I state in my instructions on the recipe, I roll my dough out into a 1/2 inch deep disc. Hope this helps!

  6. Hands down the best biscuits ever. This Northerner felt like a Southern lady as the biscuits were absolutely perfect and my family swooned. Thank you for this forever recipe. The mixing is key, I mix them like muffins or scones, until JUST incorporated with separate bits

    1. Thank you, Leslie. This is one of my favorite biscuit recipes. I’m so glad it worked so well for you.

  7. I tried as directed but they were just flavorless. For the next round I did 50% butter 50% Shortening and had great results. Also you have to add salt! Can’t believe this recipe is totally devoid of sodium.

    1. Colt, I’m sorry you didn’t like the biscuit recipe as written but it sounds like you made one that works for you. No salt is added to this recipe because salt is already included in the self-rising flour.

  8. Hi Robyn,
    I really would like to try this meal however, Im finding impossible to get White Lily Flour in Australia can do suggest something that is available here??
    We do have bakers pastry flour not sure if it is the same.

    1. I don’t know which brands are available in Australia but plain flour is the same as all purpose in the US. You could use that.

See More Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Reviews